ITV1's blog

Sunday, 23 December 2012, 8:00PM – 9:00PM

Phillip Schofield is back to host another celebrity special of The Cube for ITV1 which tests celebrities skill, nerve and determination to win. The Christmas Celebrity Special will challenge model and TV presenter Melanie Sykes and street dancer and Diversity’s Ashley Banjo, but who will come out top?

The Cube will challenge Melanie and Ashley to attempt deceivingly simple tasks in a giant cube. Once inside, there is nowhere to hide, as their entire journey is captured from all angles by over ninety slow-motion and Gamefreeze(™) cameras.

With each task worth a large cash prize, the celebrity will have to keep their nerve in this high pressure game of skill and strategy to move closer to the top prize of £250,000.

Each celebrity starts with nine lives and has to complete seven tasks to win the jackpot but if they accept the challenge and lose all their lives during the game, they will leave with nothing.

Monday, 17 December 2012, 7:00PM – 7:30PM

Emmerdale is the small village with big drama. Set against the stunningly beautiful backdrop of the Yorkshire Dales Emmerdale has been successfully running for 40 years regularly entertaining more than seven million viewers six times a week with its fiery mix of dramatic storylines.

6424 Monday 17 December 7.00pm – 7.30pm
• The night before Chas’ trial, Charity’s concerned about Debbie’s obsession
• Jai meets his son and is heartbroken to realise he can’t be a part of his life
• Cain opens up to Moira and admits that he wants to be with her

6425 Tuesday 18 December 7.00pm – 7.30pm
• In court, Chas pales at the hostility from the Dingles as the trial begins
• Priya and David are stunned when Alicia makes a surprise appearance
• Sam’s thrown when Ruby tells him that Rachel’s not interested in him romantically

6426 Wednesday 19 December 7.00pm – 7.30pm
• Chas faces a ruthless cross-examination when she takes to the stand
• Adam’s furious when Moira confesses that she and Cain are an item
• Priya’s concerned about her relationship with David now Alicia’s back on the scene

6427 Thursday 20 December 2012 7.00pm – 7.30pm
• Cameron takes his place on the witness stand
• David’s feeling the pressure of being pulled between Priya and Alicia
• Victoria has a plan to get Amy a boyfriend

6428 Thursday 20 December 2012 8.00pm – 8.30pm
• Under the pressure of the trial, Cameron makes a confession
• Alicia’s thrilled to think she stands another chance with David
• Moira’s thoughtful when Zak advises her to stay away from Cain

6429 Friday 21 December 2012 7.00pm – 7.30pm
• Cameron takes drastic action to keep his secret
• Chas is given the verdict
• Declan brings Katie home from hospital but all is not well

Monday, 17 December 2012, 7:30PM – 8:00PM

Coronation Street is the story of the everyday lives of ordinary folk living in a northern town called Weatherfield. The show’s unique blend of heart warming comedy and powerful drama always remaining at the forefront of its programming since 1960.

Episode 8019: Monday 17 December at 7.30 – 8.30pm

Tyrone is in for a shock on his birthday.
Michelle and Rob have grand ambitions.
Chesney has some bad news to deliver.


Episode 8020: Monday 17 December at 8.30pm

Will Kirsty find out the truth?
Leanne has a crisis of conscience.
Kirk and Chesney set out to get rid of the incriminating turkeys.


Episode 8021: Wednesday 19 December at 7.30pm

After Tyrone faces a shocking ordeal at the hands of Kirsty, Fiz resolves to help him get justice.


Episode 8022: Thursday 20 December at 8.30pm

Fiz helps Tyrone gather evidence.
Is Nick a victim of a hoax?
Sophie tries to speed up her recovery.


Episode 8023: Friday 21 December at 7.30pm

Is Tyrone and Fiz’s affair about to be exposed?
Kirk and Beth experience a Christmas miracle.
Kylie points the finger at Eva.

Saturday, 22 December 2012, 6:30PM – 8:00PM

Everyone loves a great tune to get them in the festive spirit, and this yuletide special counts down the top 20 of the nation’s most popular Christmas songs, as voted for in a nationwide survey of ITV viewers.

Featuring hits such as Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday, Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas?, Fairytale of New York by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl, All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey and Merry Xmas Everybody by Slade, this 90 minute documentary tells the stories behind these ever-popular seasonal favourites.

Contributors including Chris Rea, Johnny Mathis, Sir Cliff Richard, Jona Lewie, Paul Young, Aled Jones, Noddy Holder, Shane MacGowan, Greg Lake, Alexandra Burke and Katherine Jenkins all give their views on what makes a great festive tune.

We’ll also hear from the family members of Bing Crosby and Kirsty MacColl, as they share with us their own personal memories of these much-loved Christmas classics.

The Nation’s Favourite Christmas Song also meets some of the people from behind the scenes, including producer Steve Lillywhite, who worked with The Pogues on Fairytale of New York, Elvis Presley’s original backing singer Mille Kirkham, Kathy Hill (the love interest in Wham’s Last Christmas video) and Richard Williams, who was the only journalist present at the recording of John and Yoko’s Happy Xmas (War Is Over) in 1971.

The Nation’s Favourite Christmas Song is produced by Shiver. Kerry Allison is the producer and Mark Robinson is the executive producer.

Sunday, 9 December 2012, 6:40PM – 7:40PM

Get set to see your favourite fairy tales and folk legends come to life, as a host of famous faces attempt to win as much money as possible in Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Pantomime Special on Sunday 9 December at 6.40pm, ITV1.

Playing ‘Hoff the Hook’, TV legend David Hasselhoff will be hoping to win a treasure chest of cash for Pengeulan Primary School in Wales. David said: “One minute I’m terrified, the next I can’t wait to jump in to the seat. I’ve been gearing up and I’m ready to face the million pound question. I’m playing for Pengeulan Primary School in Wales, a school close to my heart, I just hope I can win some big bucks for them.”

The former Baywatch and Knight Rider star will be partnered by Loose Women presenter Denise Welch who will be aiming to climb the money ladder for The Olivia Arnold Trust. Will they walk the plank or live happy ever after?

Taking centre stage is one of Britain’s most popular stand up comedians, Tim Vine, who will be hoping to win the jackpot for The Cure Parkinson’s Trust. After enjoying roles in Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Aladdin, the quick witted funny man says: “I’m looking forward to appearing on the show very much. My previous best was one thousand pounds so I’d be happy if the show was called ‘who wants to win more than a thousand pounds.”

The comedian will be joined by former Eastenders actress, Cheryl Fergison who will be aiming to sprinkle the magic money dust for hospice at home charity, ChYps. Will this be one wish too far or will the Eastend Fairy Godmother be able to cast a spell to bring them good luck?

Finally taking up the hotseat is soap star John Partridge who will be playing for The Terrence Higgins Trust.

Partnering Prince Charming is television presenter Alison Hammond who is hoping to win the lucrative six figure cheque for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. She commented: “I’m really excited about Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? I’ve downloaded the app on my iPhone but can’t get past £8k. However, when I met John Partridge I felt we were a match made in heaven.”

Quiz wizard, Chris Tarrant, will be overseeing proceedings ensuring that participants are put to the test in order to scale the money tree. They’ve got the magic touch on stage but have they got what it takes to make it to the million milestone? The money won by the contestants will be shared 50/50 between their charities and one lucky viewer at home.

Who Want’s To Be A Millionaire? is produced by Victory Television, a joint venture with Sony Pictures Television, and more information about the show is available at

Tuesday, 18 December 2012, 8:00PM – 9:00PM

“Everybody wants to be different, they want to leave a mark; they want to be remembered.” – Marco Frigatti, adjudicator, Guinness World Records

The second and final part of this ITV1 documentary series sets out to provide a close access perspective on what drives the extraordinary and colourful characters that hold Guinness World Records.

From Zeus, the world’s tallest dog, to Pauline Potter, the world’s heaviest living woman; from 92-year-old Tom Lackey, the world’s oldest wing walker, to Ashrita Furman, who holds the highest amount of world records with 149 and is aiming for more; and from 77-year-old body builder Wilma Conner to record-setting escapologist, Rob Roy Collins; this programme reveals the world of those who strive to set new records.

Inside Guinness World Records travels from Solihull to Las Vegas, and from the Guinness World Records HQ in London to Canada to explore the unique perspectives of those who hold records.

Ashrita Furman, 58, who holds the record for the most records in the book, explains his motivation to set new levels of achievement.

“I’ve always been a fan of the Guinness book, as a kid it was my Bible. I remember reading it under the covers at night, my mum coming in and yelling at me to put the book away.”

Featured in this programme are:

Great Dane, Zeus, who at 44 inches in height is not only the world’s tallest living dog, he’s the tallest dog ever recorded.

Professional escapologist, Rob Roy Collins who is preparing for his first ever Guinness World Record attempt – escaping from restraints while suspended by his feet, at height.

Tom Lackey from Solihull, who at 92 is the world’s oldest wing walker, trying to break his own record.

77-year-old Wilma Conner, the world record holder for being the oldest living competitive body builder.

Ashrita Furman from New York, who is hoping to achieve what will be his 150th world record – skipping his way around a half-marathon course.

Pauline Potter, who last year took the title of the world’s heaviest living woman at 46 stone – it’s a title she’s desperate to lose and there’s someone who’s just as keen to take the record from her.

Monday, 17 December 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

The Poison Tree is a two part psychological thriller. Karen Clarke (Myanna Buring) is a woman haunted by the tragic events which took place twelve years ago. Flashbacks to the past unfold the story from the moment Karen is thrown into the extraordinary world of Biba Capel (Ophelia Lovibond) and Rex Capel (Matthew Goode) to reveal the secrets she is hiding. Now living in Dungeness with Rex recently released from prison and their daughter Alice (Hebe Johnson), Karen is stalked by mysterious stranger and is desperate to protect her family.

Monday, 17 December 2012, 8:00PM – 8:30PM

Over 20,000 Brits have crossed the channel to enjoy La Belle Ville in one of the most beautiful regions of France – the Dordogne. We follow the lives of families who have upped sticks from the UK and taken on a French lifestyle with a distinctly British twist.

Throughout the series we will meet the people who have taken the bold leap to live in France, from long-standing Francophiles to new arrivals who are facing the daunting prospect of building their lives from scratch. The Brits are a resourceful lot and turn their hands to all sorts of things to ensure they can soak up a good life in the sun. Ventures include selling Britain’s favourite dish of curry at the local markets, running a campsite, owning a vineyard and setting up animal sanctuaries. There’s a surprising amount to discover in this deceptively tranquil corner of France.

This week on Little England it’s the most important day of the year for the Moore family from Yorkshire. Its harvest time on their French vineyard but rain is threatening to spoil the crop. With time running out can they save the grapes and their livelihood? And we take to the open roads with Clive and Stella Wood from Essex. We join them in their classic British sports car for a rally through the beautiful Dordogne countryside.

Sunday, 16 December 2012, 7:00PM – 8:00PM

“They handed me an improvisation opportunity – ‘you’ve found a friend and someone is trying to take it away from you’. I went with that and everyone responded to it. They were crying and I was crying and they said, ‘Kid, you got the job.'”
Henry Thomas on his audition for the role of Elliott, in front of Steven Spielberg.

Thirty years ago, on the 9th of December 1982, a family movie was released in the UK which would be critically acclaimed as a timeless story of friendship. ‘E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial’ drew on the real story of director Steven Spielberg’s parents’ divorce and follows a young boy, Elliot, and his siblings who make friends with a stranded alien and try to help him return home.

To celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary, this hour-long documentary ‘Happy Birthday E.T.’ tells the story behind the movie, which has been voted the UK’s favourite family film ever. From the making of the film and the casting of the main roles, to bringing E.T. to life and the immense secrecy surrounding the making of the film, the documentary explores how a family film went on to become a huge blockbuster, surpassing Star Wars to become the highest grossing film of all time, a record it held for 10 years.

‘Happy Birthday E.T.’ includes unseen footage of Steven Spielberg plus new and exclusive interviews with Henry Thomas (Elliott) Dee Wallace Stone (Elliott’s Mum), Robert MacNaughton (older brother, Mike) and Erika Eleniak (the girl Elliott kisses). It also features the people behind the scenes who helped bring the film to life including casting director Mike Fenton and Caprice Spencer Rothe, the mime artist who performed E.T.’s hands.

Of the intense secrecy surrounding the film during production, actor Robert MacNaughton (Mike) explains: “They sent us the script…and we read it, but then we had to give it back. And then we just got the scenes for that day, so I never actually had a physical copy of the script all the way through the filming.”

The documentary also takes actor Henry Thomas, who as a 10-year-old played Elliott, back to the suburban Californian house where much of the film was shot, for the first time in 30 years.

The programme uncovers surprising facts behind the making of the film. Spielberg shot the film in script order to get a genuine emotional response from the child actors. So when E.T. departs at the end, the tears are all real. The face of E.T. was modelled on a cross between Albert Einstein and a newborn baby and cost $1.4 million to create. Also, when E.T was seen dying, all the doctors in the shot were real, including Spielberg’s own doctor – as he believed they would be more convincing than actors.

Three decades on, Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece still attracts huge audiences whenever it is shown on television and continues to engage with new generations of viewers. ‘Happy Birthday E.T.’ offers a new insight into the magic of E.T.’s timeless appeal.

Saturday, 15 December 2012, 9:00PM – 10:20PM

Girls Aloud: Ten Years At The Top

Over the past ten years Girls Aloud have grown from young pop wannabes, to become five remarkable women. This intimate portrait of their lives and music will remind us why they won Popstars – The Rivals all those years ago, and why they remain today Britain’s favourite girl-band.

The show will feature three distinct chapters – the definitive history of the band, the individual successes of each girls solo projects, and their reunion. We’ll offer exclusive access to all the preparations that lead up to their launch and come-back, culminating in a headline performance in front of the Queen at this years Royal Variety Performance.

The Definitive History

Past documentaries have told the story of the band, but none have given us the definitive history of Girls Aloud, from their creation on Popstars the Rivals up until 2009. Featuring honest and frank interviews with the girls, and a wealth of previously unseen archive, we’ll tell the full story of the music, the achievements, their life in the spotlight, and all that goes into being the phenomenon that is Girls Aloud.

Solo Projects

The second chapter examines the girls’ solo projects, from Cheryl’s recent UK tour, to Kimberley’s own musical projects, Sarah’s film work to Nicola’s passion for fashion, and we hook up with Nadine in LA for an exclusive glimpse of her Sunset beach bar and restaurant.

Back together again.

We catch up with the girls a month before they go public with the announcement of their re-union. Behind the scenes, the preparation for this moment is frantic. We follow the girls as they film the video for come back single Something New, get together for photo shoots (and realise that nothing has changed in 10 years – they are still the chatterboxes they always were…!), nervously face the press to announce their come back, and prepare to perform for Her Majesty at this years Royal Variety Performance.

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1